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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


USALL, Judith et al. Gender differences in the use of mental health services in a Barcelona area. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.1, pp.30-40. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: The exploration of the use of specialised mental health services and the prevalence of mental disorders recorded by these services is important when planning and adapting the various mental health services to real users' needs. The fact of being a woman has repeatedly proved to be a predicting factor for higher service use and this could imply than such needs may vary according to gender. The objectives of our study are: to analyse the attended prevalence in both out-patient and hospital services data as per diagnoses according to gender, and to analyse the use of hospital care services with respect to diagnoses according to gender. Methods: The sample for this observational and retrospective study (n = 65,465) is comprised of everyone who visited any of the Sant Joan de Déu-SSM mental health services between 2002 and 2007. Main measures: total number of consultations, and number and length of hospitalisations. Results: Women presented higher attended prevalence. Men show a higher risk of a first hospitalisation and longer length of admissions. Among the group of admitted patients, the number of women is higher. With regard to diagnosis, gender influences the attended prevalence. Regarding hospitalisation, we find differences in patients with schizophrenia and other mood disorders. Conclusions: The main result is that women have a higher attended prevalence of mental disorders than men. In the total sample, women have a higher number of hospitalisations although men have a higher risk of a first hospitalisation and their stays prove to be longer. When taking diagnosis into account, gender differences are greater in attended prevalence than in number and length of hospitalisations.

Keywords : Gender; Services use; Mental disorders.

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